Good morning folks. Thursday’s snuck up on me. Weren’t we just unpacking the car from Thanksgiving? (And by “we” I mean Eliot. I just got out of the car when we pulled into the driveway and never looked back.) I woke up at four this morning with a disagreeable headache. My spirits dropped (Enough already with the inflamed sinuses!), until I realized it was just a caffeine headache. Too much uncaffeinated water while I’ve been getting over this cold. I am now cheerfully drinking a latte, thinking about breakfast possibilities.
There’s a really great discussion on Geoff Roes’ blog about the value of speed training for ultras. (If you haven’t already read it.) I was struck by how much thought runners have given to the speed v. endurance balance in their training. Or, more to the point, I was struck by how little thought I’ve given to it thus far. I didn’t run in college or high school, so I feel like a non-swimmer heading toward the deep end of the pool when people talk about training specifics. Right now Amanda tells me what, where, and how to run. The only careful thought I give to the workouts is When. When will I fit the workout into the day and will I have enough time for a shower afterwards? I agree that sounds irresponsible (and smelly). Part of my disinterest in taking a more thoughtful role in my training (besides being wildly disorganized and not all that thoughtful for the past three years) stems from a belief that running long distances is valuable because it teaches humility and compassion. You can develop your potential to serve others by persevering through challenging circumstances a la Kurt Hahn and Outward Bound. Learning how to run faster hasn’t seemed important to that goal. But I think speedwork will feel more valuable as the distances themselves become easier to run. Working hard to keep a fast pace seems like a great route to humilty– and, hopefully, acting more compassionately.
Anyway, acting out of compassion is something I struggle with, so I’m always looking for good training. But, don’t get me wrong, I mostly run because I love the running. So dang fun. Oh, and those big belt buckles.